Why Local Activists Protest the Great Bull Run

Posted by Alexis Braun, ALDF Litigation Clerk on December 26, 2013

As the cruelty of the Pamplona, Spain bull run has become more contentious, two American lawyers, Rob Dickens and Brad Scudder have brought the bull run to America. Over ten events have been scheduled for this year and next. On August 24, 2013, the first of these events was held outside Richmond, Virginia. Two people were rushed to the hospital and several dozen others required first aid for minor cuts and bruises. According to Dickens, some participants in the run “complained that there weren’t enough injuries.  People running wanted more injuries and more danger.  That’s what people sign up for.”


The second Bull Run occurred outside Atlanta, Georgia, on October 19, and at least one person was injured. The next run was scheduled to take place in Baytown, Texas, outside Houston, on December 7.  On December 3, ALDF sent a letter to the Honorable Jimmy Sylvia, informing him of the need for a permit for mass gatherings as required by the Texas Health & Safety Code.  Noting that no application for a mass gathering permit had been filed, ALDF called on the Judge to stop the event from taking place.

The day following the release of the letter, Dickens postponed the Baytown event until January 25, 2014, due to “inclement weather.” The run was conveniently postponed so that the sponsors had the opportunity to file a timely application for a permit. This skirting of the law was not the first time the promoters failed to apply for proper permits. Officials from the Georgia Department of Agriculture were forced to grant permits at the last minute before the Atlanta run, when the promoters failed to apply for veterinary inspection permits.  Given that Dickens and Scudder are attorneys themselves (who “realized that paperwork wasn’t their cup of tea”), these failures to apply for proper permits for an event that poses a serious danger to public safety appears as a routine disregard for the law.

Houston activists remain dedicated to protesting the event, but their main concern is not the failure to apply for proper permits on time, or even for public safety. A petition calling for the cancellation of the Baytown run received thousands of signatures and highlights the cruelty of an event which forces “frightened, agitated bulls to run along an enclosed track for the supposed amusement of humans.”  Over 5,000 people signed a petition asking for the cancellation of the bull run in Virginia, and more than 8,000 signed a similar petition for the Georgia Bull Run.

The cruelty activists see when they look at bull runs in Pamplona or the United States is not just limited to the end of the run when the bulls may be beaten, tortured, and killed. Those who oppose events like the Great Bull Run know that animals experience fear.  In the words of Temple Grandin, “The single worst thing you can do to an animal emotionally is to make it feel afraid.  Fear is so bad for animals, I think it’s worse than pain.”

Mr. Dickens and company may not think causing an animal to feel fear for our own amusement constitutes animal cruelty, but there are many who disagree. And those Americans will be the ones who stand with signs on dusty gravel roads leading up to the next ten Great Bull run events scheduled in the United States.

9 thoughts on “Why Local Activists Protest the Great Bull Run

  1. Gary Sherman says:


    1. Jamie Green says:

      I agree, Gary! I’m so sick of humans and their selfishness and greed!

  2. Lisa says:

    People who need to condition animals and make them do unnatural actions in order to accommodate and entertain are simple minded idiots!!!

  3. Laura Blanchette says:

    We simply don’t have the right to abuse, torture, and slaughter animals. We just don’t have the right. I will always stand up for the innocent of the world. And the animals are the real innocent beings on this planet.

  4. frank rydzinski says:

    i find it ludicrous today that we supposedly civilised human beings would do this to animals
    in todays day and age ,have people become so god damned bored with life they forget how to look after other creatures? maybe a few deaths will change their minds . as a christian society americans should know better ,but they are turning their backs on their faith too.bo wonder the usa is becoming a federal controlled country ,the people are turning into blind uncomapassionate freeks ,maybe not all but many in my opinion ,wake up america your animal husbandry and compassion is failing you and your turning into crazy animals methinks you have too mucj time on your hands .

  5. Joel Cox says:

    Animals are not ours to use as entertainment. If they want danger and excitement, jump out of a plane, climb a mountain. It is absolutely disgraceful that this is allowed. Causing stress and confusion on these animals is not entertainment.

  6. Denise says:

    Gods creations all beings are not here to be abused.

  7. Jacqueline Herder says:

    Idiots! I have had it with my own species!

  8. susan hawkes says:

    Real men don’t pick fights with beings of less intelligence than themselves. Only cowards who need to have a handicap at the outset would fight an animal and pretend to be challenged. Extreme motocross of base jumping would be thrilling and have injuries to enjoy.

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